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How Did Distributional Preferences Change During the Great Recession?

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Listed:
  • Raymond Fisman
  • Pamela Jakiela
  • Shachar Kariv

Abstract

We compare behavior in experiments measuring distributional preferences during the "Great Recession" to behavior in identical experiments conducted during the preceding economic boom. Subjects are drawn from a diverse pool of students whose socioeconomic composition is largely held constant by the university, mitigating concerns about differential selection across macroeconomic conditions. Subjects exposed to the recession are more selfish and more willing to sacrifice equality to enhance efficiency. Reproducing recessionary conditions inside the laboratory by confronting subjects with losses has the same impact on distributional preferences, bolstering the interpretation that economic circumstances, rather than other factors, are driving our results.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond Fisman & Pamela Jakiela & Shachar Kariv, 2014. "How Did Distributional Preferences Change During the Great Recession?," NBER Working Papers 20146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20146
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Meer & David Miller & Elisa Wulfsberg, 2017. "The Great Recession and charitable giving," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(21), pages 1542-1549, December.
    2. Becker, Sascha O. & Grosfeld, Irena & Grosjean, Pauline & Voigtländer, Nico & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2018. "Forced Migration and Human Capital: Evidence from Post-WWII Population Transfers," CEPR Discussion Papers 12975, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge & Kjetil Bjorvatn & Simon Galle & Edward Miguel & Daniel N. Posner & Bertil Tungodden & Kelly Zhang, 2015. "How Strong are Ethnic Preferences?," NBER Working Papers 21715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Vojtech Bartos, 2016. "Seasonal Scarcity and Sharing Norms," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp557, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    5. Cojocaru, Alexandru & Diagne, Mame Fatou, 2014. "Should income inequality be reduced and who should benefit ? redistributive preferences in Europe and Central Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7097, The World Bank.
    6. Sera Linardi & Nita Rudra, 2015. "Globalization and Redistribution Towards the Poor in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from India," Artefactual Field Experiments 00399, The Field Experiments Website.
    7. repec:eee:jeborg:v:153:y:2018:i:c:p:177-193 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ekström, Mathias, 2017. "Seasonal Social Preferences," Working Paper Series 1159, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    9. Cellini, Roberto & Cuccia, Tiziana, 2014. "The Tourism Industry in Italy during the Great Recession (2008-12): What Data Show and Suggest," MPRA Paper 62473, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2015.
    10. Girum Abebe & Stefano Caria & Marcel Fafchamps & Paolo Falco & Simon Franklin & Simon Quinn, 2016. "Curse of Anonymity or Tyranny of Distance? The Impacts of Job-Search Support in Urban Ethiopia," NBER Working Papers 22409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:eee:jhecon:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:45-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Pamela Jakiela & Edward Miguel & Vera Velde, 2015. "You’ve earned it: estimating the impact of human capital on social preferences," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 385-407, September.
    13. Gauriot, Romain & Heger, Stephanie A. & Slonim, Robert, 2018. "Altruism or Diminishing Marginal Utility?," IZA Discussion Papers 11721, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Chuang, Yating & Schechter, Laura, 2015. "Stability of experimental and survey measures of risk, time, and social preferences: A review and some new results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 151-170.
    15. Engel, Christoph & Goerg, Sebastian J., 2018. "If the worst comes to the worst: Dictator giving when recipient’s endowments are risky," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 51-70.
    16. repec:eee:pubeco:v:155:y:2017:i:c:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Ekström, Mathias, 2017. "Seasonal Social Preferences," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 4/2017, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C79 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Other
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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